Yesterday, there were a lot of shorebirds on the East Pond, with the majority being Short-billed Dowitchers and Semipalmated Sandpipers. My estimate after a good 3-4 hours on the pond in the afternoon was about 6,000 shorebirds. Today, I was back on the pond around 5:30 a.m. just before peak high tide. I stayed on the pond way after high tide to test a theory that I began working on last year after I noticed that shorebirds were leaving the pond as soon as the tide turned from peak high tide. I will report on my observations in another post.
My first impression was that there was some movement last night as I immediately noted that there were not as many Semipalmated Sandpipers as yesterday, which I had estimated at 3,100. However, there seemed to be more Short-billed Dowitchers present today. Here are my shorebird numbers from today including the Ruff which was first found down on the South End and moved up with me as I birded from South to North and then back again.
There were just over 5,000 shorebirds today on the pond. The breakdown follows from highest to lowest count by species type:
Short-billed Dowitcher: 3,200
Semipalmated Sandpiper: 1,500
Least Sandpiper: 130
Lesser Yellowleg: 110
Semipalmated Plover: 30
Greater Yellowleg: 27
Stilt Sandpiper: 24 (scattered throughout the pond - many on the south end near the Raunt)
Pectoral Sandpiper: 1
Other notables on the East Pond today included 1 Drake Blue-winged Teal, 1 Drake Green-winged Teal and 1 Northern Waterthrush. So does this look like "Rufus" or "Rufous' Ruff from last year?
Tags: Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens, Shorebird, Jamaica Bay, Ruff